Selection of an instrument to evaluate the organizational environment of nurses working in intensive care: an integrative review

Brett Abbenbroek, Christine Duffield, Doug Elliott


Objective: To determine an appropriate survey instrument to evaluate the impact of organizational structures on the work environment of intensive care nurses.

Background: Internationally the demand for intensive care is increasing. Solely increasing bed capacity is not sustainable. Large capacity multi-specialty Intensive Care Units are emerging as the preferred organizational model with benefits resulting from optimizing operational synergies and economies of scale. The impact of this organizational transition on intensive care nurses is not well understood. An appropriate survey instrument for intensive care nurses is required. Design: Integrative literature review. Data Sources: CINAHL, PubMed, EMBASE and OVID Nursing databases searched for studies published between 2005 and 2013.

Review methods: An integrative review and quality assessment of the studies was undertaken to select nurse outcome measures associated with organizational structures across a range of acute and critical care settings. Congruence between nurse outcome measures and nurse survey instruments tested in the literature was assessed to select instruments for further psychometric evaluation.

Results: Thirty-one cross sectional quantitative studies, from fourteen countries, were reviewed. Twenty one nurse outcome measures associated with organizational factors were identified and a total of twenty five survey instruments used in the studies reviewed. Assessment of congruence and psychometric properties determined that a combination of two instruments is required to comprehensively assess the organizational environment of nurses working in intensive care units.

Conclusion: The environment of nurses working in intensive care is effectively evaluated with an instrument that combines subscales from the Practice Environment Scale-Nurse Work Index and Maslach’s Burnout Inventory.


Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.